Learn the tricks of Suspense from Elaine Viets, Alan Orloff, and Alison McMahan! Free Class on Zoom 4/26/2020 7 pm!

Cover of Anthology The Beat of Black Wings


In honor of the publication of The Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Joni Mitchell, and the publication of A Star is Dead by Elaine Viets and I know Where You Sleep by Alan Orloff, we bring you a zoom session on How to generate Suspense in your Fiction writing. Don’t miss this hour packed with tips, tools, and information! Sponsored by Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore, who will be shipping specially-priced bundles of the books by these authors to contest winners!


THE CLIFFHANGERS: How do you keep your readers hanging on from chapter to chapter? What are the tricks of the suspense trade? I'll give you a peek at some ways to keep your readers turning those pages.


THE STAKES: If you’ve ever taken writing workshop or exchanged pages with a critique partner, you may have heard the advice, “Raise the stakes.” Much of the time, it’s valid—who wants to read a dull story where it really doesn’t matter if the protagonist succeeds? Here are a few tips for raising the stakes for your hero! 


THE DRIVING QUESTIONS: Lee Child famously said that readers are programmed to wait for answers to questions they witness being asked. Child instructs writers to plant questions in stories that the reader needs to have answered, so they keep reading. We will look at how this works in well-known works.

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Alan Orloff, Elaine Viets, & Alison McMahan
Alan Orloff, Elaine Viets, & Alison McMahan will share their suspense-writing secrets on Sunday, April 26


ALISON McMAHAN writes fiction and non-fiction.  Her mystery  stories have appeared in anthologies published by Wildside Press, LevelBest Books, Down & Out Books, and HarperCollins. She is a Derringer  finalist and has won the Rosemary for Best YA Historical and the Florida Writers Association's Royal Palm Literary Award. Her story "Volcano"  "is in The Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Joni Mitchell, Edited by Josh Pachter (Untread Reeds).  She is represented by Gina Panettieri of Talcott Notch Literary. AlisonMcMahan.com


Cover-IKnow where you sleepALAN ORLOFF won the 2019 ITW Thriller Award (Best E-Book Original) for his thriller, Pray for the Innocent. His debut mystery, Diamonds for the Dead, was an Agatha Award finalist; his story “Dying in Dokesville” won a 2019 Derringer Award,; and “Rule Number One” was selected for The Best American Mystery Stories 2018. His first P.I. novel, I Know Where You Sleep, was released from Down & Out Books in February. www.alanorloff.com













Cover-A Star is Dead

ELAINE VIETS is the author of thirty-three bestselling mysteries in four series — the hardboiled Francesca Vierling novels, the traditional Dead-End Job books, the cozy Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper series, and the Angela Richman, Death Investigator, books — and has won the Agatha, Anthony and Lefty Awards. Reviewer Cindy Chow called A Deal with the Devil and 13 Short Stories (Crippen & Landru) “a stunning collection.” www.elaineviets.com 

How to Take the class: Sign up at the Murder on the Beach Events page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/200849831258404/

or send an email to Alison's contact to get the Zoom contact information.